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Manchester by the Sea (2016) review

Posted : 1 year, 2 months ago on 29 March 2017 10:56

I takes some time to be on the skin -not neccesarily on the side- of Cassey Affleck. He's weird before and after the tragedy of losing his sons. The forced adoption of his nephew is so obvious a 'legacy' of his brother, that teh character suffers of some idiotic conduct.

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Manchester by the Sea (2016) review

Posted : 1 year, 3 months ago on 3 March 2017 06:30

*Honestly I knew almost nothing about this before watching it.
*All I knew is that people said it was really well done but very sad.
*I decided to go ahead and check this out though since Casey Affleck won for it.
*This is first film I have seen directed by Kenneth Lonergan although I saw his Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle movie that was dreadful.
*I guess he learned from that mistake with this one.
*Anyways let's see what all this fuss is about.

*The acting is phenomenal specifically from Casey Affleck of course.
*The whole story is fresh and interesting.

*It's very emotionally draining.
*The timeline was a bit annoying to keep track of.
*I think the nephew could have been better as he just seemed typical to me.

I think it was worth checking out mostly because of Casey Affleck. The story pretty emotional and I wasn't expecting to be so drained after watching it. Still it was a good movie. I would say check it out if you are in a really good mood or plan to watch something emotionally uplifting afterwards.

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Manchester by the Sea

Posted : 1 year, 4 months ago on 22 February 2017 05:55

This is a weird one for me to talk about. Manchester by the Sea strikes all the right poses, hits all of the story beats, but there’s a strange sense of detachment. The characters are submerged by grief, and any development they exhibit is so minor as to wonder if the seeds have been harvested.


It’s not boring or tedious, and I don’t mind the quaintness of the film, but Manchester by the Sea kept me at a remove at all points. Maybe it’s that it takes a very long time to go nowhere in particular. Not paying off as the audience demands is fine and all, but we end with a few of these characters left in the same or highly similar positions that we found them in. And there’s a few too many situations where the symbolism is too neat and tidy, or the dialog is too poetic, and several scenes of Casey Affleck staring off into the middle distance in a bar before picking a fight.


The slowly thawing winter is a solid metaphor for grief and the ways we can deal with it in, say, a novel, but it’s harder to balance it out in a film. Especially one that insists on running for two-and-a-half hours, without enough story to really fill out that demanding running time. Manchester by the Sea is best when it zeroes in on mournful, hard moments of everyday life in the wake of tragedy. Think of an awkward reunion between Lucas Hedges’ Patrick and his alcoholic mother (Gretchen Mol), or the quietly devastating reunion between Affleck’s Lee and his ex-wife (Michelle Williams). These moments hammer home with emotional complexity and brutal truths delivered without a bit of sugar to make the bitter go down.


Much of the film rests on Affleck’s Lee becoming the guardian of Hedges’ Patrick after the death of Patrick’s father (Kyle Chandler), Lee’s brother. But Lee’s grief from an accident years earlier that caused him to flee Manchester-by-the-Sea, and dissolved his marriage, keeps him prison and incapable of taking care of anyone, even himself, or making deeper connections with anyone. Patrick, for his part, seems incapable of understanding just how much his life has changed, and will continue to do so. He’s a teen looking for guidance from a man with as much warmth and emotional availability as a glacier.


Lee and Patrick do have several scenes of comedy to alleviate some of the encroaching despair. Most of it just involves them screaming “fuck you” at each other in harsh New Englander tones, but it’s often a nice change of pace. I see why both of them (and Williams) were nominated this year, and, frankly, they deserve it. Hell, if all three of the players manage to sneak out wins they will be richly deserved. Affleck, Hedges, and Williams create fully realized people that are deeply damaged and trying to do their best to keep their heads above water. Manchester by the Sea finds them drowning more often than not, but the film reminds us that healing is not always a zero-sum game.

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A very good movie

Posted : 1 year, 5 months ago on 21 January 2017 10:39

Since I kept hearing some really good things about this movie, I was really eager to check it out and, for once, I wasn't disappointed, that's for  sure. Seriously, I can't imagine a better way to start off this new year with my film club. Indeed, even though it was maybe not completely flawless, it wasn't far from it and I can't remember the last time I saw a movie combining so perfectly drama and comedy. Seriously, this movie was so funny, it was very often much more hilarious than most of your average comedy. And yet, it was dealing with a really tragic story but, somehow, this mix worked miraculously well. I think that, even though the acting was quite impressive, I enjoyed most of all the writing. Indeed, the two main characters  (an uncle and his nephew) were just so fascinating, with so many layers, and their dialogues were just pure gold. The ending was also very effective without forcing these characters into a more traditional happy-ending. More than 15 years ago, I was lucky enough to see 'You Can Count on Me' when it was released,  it was just great to see Kenneth Lonergan making such an impressive come-back and the guy displayed once again that he has a gift to show the complex relationships within a family. Anyway, to conclude,  at last,  it is finally another really good movie from 2016 and it is absolutely worth a look. 

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